NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — “Walktober” is a great opportunity to promote all the benefits of walking. When people realize walking is fun and easy to do, they can keep the momentum going throughout the year by starting a “Monday Mile” in their community.
Why Monday? Research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that people are more likely to commit to an exercise program on Monday, and those who start their week with exercise are more likely to keep doing it throughout the week.
To motivate New Jersey communities to keep doing a Monday Mile, Peggy Policastro, director of Culinary Literacy and Nutrition Education for the New Jersey Healthy Kids Initiative (NJHKI) and the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health’s Student Ambassador Program at Rutgers University, is working with Erin Comollo, program development administrator for NJHKI and IFNH student ambassadors to come up with simple creative strategies that will counteract the biggest hurdle to exercise – getting people off their couches.
Comollo uses her experience as a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer and works alongside Policastro to help advise student ambassadors who, in turn, communicate with the New Jersey community at large.
Eight Rutgers student ambassadors are creating “walking presentations” with either a goal oriented or creative setting to encourage walking by using fun, engaging and motivating ideas that even couch potatoes will love. These include scavenger hunt in the woods; mapping out a shape while walking using a walking app; and identifying accessibility paths to take to have continuous walking. In addition, simple ways to fit in walks throughout the day, like getting in steps while grocery shopping; challenging a friend to reach steps; walking your dog and using mobile apps to track walking.